Top 10 Reasons for Metallic Taste

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Top 10 Reasons for Metallic Taste

Do you suffer from the problem of iron taste or old pennies in the mouth? The condition of a metallic taste in the mouth is very common and can indicate serious illness. Medically this condition is known as dysgeusia or parageusia. Our taste is controlled by the taste buds and taste papillae present on the tongue. Even the smell, temperature and texture play an important role in identifying a particular taste. Medications and different diseases conditions can cause alterations in our taste buds and are primarily responsible for the metallic taste in the mouth.


1)    Bad oral health and mouth surgery:

 Irregular brushing and wrong flossing habit can cause various dental and oral problems like gingivitis and periodontitis. Tooth infections also cause gums to bleed resulting in old penny taste in the mouth. Any surgery of the mouth like wisdom teeth removal or tonsillectomy is also responsible for this bad mouth taste. Visit a dentist to overcome this problem.

2)    Upper Respiratory tract infections:

Upper respiratory tract infections like sinusitis can impair taste ability. Blocked nose, common cold, allergies, middle ear infections, ear surgeries, and sinus infections are the problems which can impair the taste ability. Treat your infection to get rid of bad taste.

3)    Medications:

Certain prescribed drugs cause a metallic taste and dry mouth as their side effects. Some of the drugs causing these effects are:

  1. a) Antibacterials and antiprotozoals
  2. b) Antidepressants
  3. c) Antihypertensives
  4. d) Medicines used for glaucoma
  5. e) Antifungals
  6. f) Corticosteroids
  7. g) Nicotine patches
  8. h) Diuretic medicines
  9. i) Antihistamine and antiallergics
  10. j) Drugs used to treat osteoporosis

4)    Chemotherapy and radiotherapy:

Cancer treatment involves chemotherapy and radiotherapy. This chemical and radiation treatment damages the taste buds and salivary glands.  Your oncologists can give you a diet chart to overcome the problems of bad taste and dry mouth.

5)    Vitamin supplements:

Supplements containing metals like copper, zinc or chromium can cause a metallic taste. Vitamins pills, iron supplements, and calcium pills cause these side effects.

6)    Pregnancy:

Pregnancy causes a lot of hormonal imbalances in the body. This imbalance causes side effects like metallic taste in the mouth.  This side effect will wear off with time automatically.

7)    Neurological disorders:

Various neurological disorders like dementia, Bell’s palsy can result in bad taste. Taste buds send signals to the brain and if the nerves and brain are damaged, taste changes occur.

8)    Allergies:

Seasonal allergies, allergies with pollen grains, tree nuts, and shellfish can cause a change in the taste buds.

9)    Chronic diseases like diabetes and kidney failure:

Chronic disorders like diabetes and chronic kidney failure can cause taste changes. Kidney failure causes waste accumulation inside the body which can cause bad taste.

10)    Chemical exposures:

In case you get exposed to heavy metals like lead and mercury, then inhaling the high levels of these metals can cause the bad taste of the mouth.

David Curry

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